Jun 30, 2008
I’m not sure if you readers are influenced by our content, really know your stuff, or both, but I was looking at the poll results for young QBs, and all the voters are totally on the money.
The question is this: Which young QB is the best bet to break out in 2008?
Let’s break the votes down a little bit.
- Jay Cutler and Matt Schaub are currently tied for first place (as of 10:30am today) with 54 votes each. They should be running neck-and-neck and 1-2 in the voting. If you actually watch NFL football with regularity, you’ll see that they are two quality players poised to break out and seriously excel. That doesn’t mean they will, since they have some issues and things could deteriorate around them, but these are very good players in good situations. In Schaub’s case, his could be a great situation, but because of the frailty he showed last year, I can’t in good conscience take him over Cutler. But make no mistake: both players have what it takes to be in the elite neighborhood. In Cutler’s case, he has the tools and talent to one day be considered one of the five best QBs in the league. Schaub’s upside is a top-10 guy.
- Packer QB Aaron Rodgers is next in the voting with 38 nods, and I’m totally down with the love he’s getting. He’s been covered elsewhere on the site, so I don’t need to get into all here, but the reasons to believe he’ll do well this year are compelling. Perhaps even more important, on this team, I simply find it hard to fathom how he can flop. Sure, he’ll have some rough patches, so he’s only a backup, but mark this down in pen: a healthy Rodgers should be a lock for 23-25 TD passes and 3200+ yards if he plays all 16 games, and he’ll likely run for 200 yards with a TD or two.
- And I totally agree that Philip Rivers should be getting a fair amount of props as well. We all know he played like he was being fed Starbucks coffee intravenously at times last year, which is disconcerting. But the fact remains: he’s a legit NFL QB who can make all the throws, pick a defense apart, and excel in Norv Turner’s vertical passing game. He has a legit receiving corps now, a good line, and a hall of famer in the backfield. If Turner can keep Rivers on the right path, and we saw strong signs of that in the playoffs, then Rivers should be a lock for 25 TD passes.
- I’m also somewhat satisfied to see Vince Young getting dissed with only 4 votes. I took some heat bashing Young last year, but I don’t think people gave enough credence to my pipeline of information on Young, both on and off the field. He was a train wreck on it, and that story about how he considered retirement is proof that he’s a prima donna. Now, I do have to say that Young intrigues me this year based on his slippage in drafts. He’s fallen off significantly compared to last year, and based on when he’s being drafted, I do think he has more upside potential than the other QBs going in that range. He has shown he can throw the ball pretty well at times, just not nearly consistently, and if he runs more in 2008 and stays healthy, I can almost guarantee he’ll go down as a value this year. New OC Mike Heimerdinger is a good coach, and TE Alge Crumpler will help Young, as will RB Chris Johnson, who’ll give their offense some juice finally. It’s funny how last year he was on our “to avoid” list, but if he is looking good in August, I’m definitely going to advocate him as someone to target as a backup. That doesn’t mean I love him, but I’m almost ready to buy at a discount.
- I’m not exactly feeling the love that Jason Campbell is getting, however, Granted, it’s not much (7 votes), but he has a lot to prove, as does new HC Jim Zorn. I like Campbell on some levels, but it remains to seen if he can operate effectively in the west coast offense. Campbell is very deliberate, and he tends to look slow on the field and doesn’t exactly make quick decisions. Those are not good traits in that offense. We’ll get a glimpse of how well he’s being coached up in the preseason, but we really won’t know for sure until the bullets are flying for real. I will say that his receiving corps is very interesting and has good potential if Santana Moss can stay healthy and if even one of their young studs pan out in Year One.
- And finally, Tarvaris Jackson is currently leading Young with 5 votes. That’s probably a stretch if for no other reason than the fact that Young has 100% job security, and Jackson might not if he doesn’t improve. His shaky mechanics need to be addressed, and if they weren’t at the very end of 2007, which was the case, it’s hard for me to assume they will this year. I like Jackson’s potential, but I’m just not ready to say he’s a guy who should do well, as I am with Cutler, Schaub, and Rivers.